Are You Buying Their Excuses?
What are excuses?
- When was the last time you heard your prospect, customer, colleague or team member utter an excuse?
- Are you tired of hearing “I can’t afford it”, “I am too busy”, etc?
- Would you like to turn excuses into opportunities and solutions?
You have probably heard lots of excuses in your business. Excuses take many forms – the economy, the weather, fears, being tired, etc. Prospects have probably said that they do not have the money or the time to work with you, customers may have made excuses for delaying paying you for completed work, suppliers may have made excuses why they are unable to provide you with stock on a certain date, employees may have made excuses about being late for work, referrers may have excused themselves from referring more customers to you, etc.
Excuses are reflected in the language that we use. When you hear “yes, we can…, but..” usually an excuse follows the “but”. When you hear “I can’t….”, “It won’t….”, etc. these are also excuses. Underpinning these excuses are often unconscious beliefs that sabotage our success. For example, if someone consistently makes the excuse “I can’t afford it”, that becomes their reality. Their whole business and life revolves around lack and that is what they keep creating for as long as they have that belief.
The most common excuse
The most common excuse is a three letter word – try. You may remember Yoda and the scene near the lake with Luke Skywalker in Star Wars, where Yoda says “There is no try, there is only do!” Try is simply an excuse for not doing something. Think about this – if you are really committed to doing something, you just do it. If you are less than 100% committed, you will make an excuse eg. I will “try to get it done on time”. Anytime you use the word “try” it demonstrates less than 100% commitment and you are excusing yourself from success. This is also true of your prospects, customers, suppliers, employees, referrers and business partners. By the way, “attempt” and “endeavour” are simply a dressed up “try”. Watch your language as it sends a direct message to your mind, which directly impacts on your behaviours and results in business.
Anytime you hear anyone rationalize why they do not have the result that they want, they are making excuses for not having their result. For example, “I did not secure enough customers this month because of the economy.” What is interesting is that in this economic environment, I have heard a number of business people say “I have more customers this month because of the economy.” Excuses are simply that, just reasons for not having the results that we want. What is also interesting is that once we stop making excuses, our results improve dramatically!
When you buy into others’ excuses you are disempowering them and yourself. You keep them stuck in their problem by accepting their excuse and you become the facilitator of their excuses. Once we stop buying into other people’s excuses, we become true leaders and inspire and empower them and ourselves to succeed.
The Benefits of Being Excuse-Free
Excuses stop you from achieving your full potential and operating at your peak level of performance. When you are accountable to yourself and are excuse-free, you will attract people who are accountable too. Like attracts like! However, if you find yourself making excuses, you will attract people who also make excuses.
Excuses take a lot of effort, focus and energy – it takes some creativity to come up with a different excuse each time. How much brain power, mental focus and energy did it take to create and come up with the excuses in the first place? Probably longer than it would have taken for you to do whatever you avoided doing. Imagine the results you could achieve if you redirected that energy and mental focus towards generating creative solutions for your business!
Excuse Yourself from Excuses
Before you can stop buying others’ excuses, first you need to stop making excuses yourself. The most successful people in business are unwilling to accept their own excuses! Once you stop buying into your own excuses, it is a lot easier to stop accepting other people’s excuses because you are far more objective to come up with solutions.
Here is a simple exercise to empower you. Notice the excuses that people around you are making and look for a pattern. For example, if you notice that a number of people are saying “I can’t afford it”, take note then ask yourself where you are making a similar excuse. Then stop making that excuse yourself. If it is a belief around money, for example, make sure you address that belief in a permanent way so that you start to attract more abundance in your business.
If saying “I can’t afford it” is simply a habit (rather than a belief), you can reframe yourself. Reframing is a set of linguistic tools that enables us to see a situation from a different point of view. Reframes provide us with a different way of looking at things – a different perspective. So that rather than seeing the problems we can see the solutions. Reframing can also assist you to motivate otherwise demotivated people and teams, and can help you to find opportunities that may have been otherwise missed.
Imagine the impact on starting or growing your business once you stop buying into your own and others’ excuses!
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